Monday, May 10, 2010

In defense of the telephone book

Patrick McGeehan, writer of the recent New York Times article on the possible disappearance of New York City’s White Pages, follows up with a summary of readers’ responses. Most of those readers professed no use for phonebooks. But —

Quite a few readers argued that the White Pages still serve a useful purpose — other than as doorstops or booster seats — particularly for the elderly, people who live in rural areas and others who have a hard time accessing computers.
I’d add that the sheer ease of looking up a number in print makes the phonebook preferable to an online search. Then again, I live in a “rural area.”

A bonus: McGeehan’s follow-up has a photograph of a 1951 Manhattan phonebook page with J.D. Salinger’s listing. Exchange name: SAcramento.

comments: 0